|Publication number||US7434320 B2|
|Application number||US 11/260,024|
|Publication date||Oct 14, 2008|
|Filing date||Oct 26, 2005|
|Priority date||Feb 17, 2005|
|Also published as||US20060179665|
|Publication number||11260024, 260024, US 7434320 B2, US 7434320B2, US-B2-7434320, US7434320 B2, US7434320B2|
|Inventors||Walter Mathew Aston, III|
|Original Assignee||Aston Iii Walter Mathew|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (31), Non-Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (13), Classifications (6), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application depends for priority upon U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/593,843, filed Feb. 17, 2005, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.
The present invention relates generally to the field of handheld cutting tools and, more particularly, to grips for cutlery.
It is common practice for professional chefs and cooks to hold larger knives, such as an eight-inch or ten-inch chef's knife, with one hand on a portion of the knife blade 20 and on a portion of the adjacent knife handle 22, as shown on
The need to prepare food quickly, efficiently, and safely is important in professional and home kitchens. To increase efficiency, culinary workers often prefer to use one large knife to cut small and large work pieces rather than use several knives of different sizes or configurations. This avoids having to find a particular knife and to change from one knife to another, thereby allowing culinary workers to move quickly from one task to the next. However, small work pieces often require more precise cutting, which requires increased control of a knife. Choking up allows culinary workers to increase control over a large knife to achieve precise cuts on small work pieces. Even on large work pieces, choking up allows for better control of cutting angles since the blade sides are stabilized by the thumb and index finger, which are typically a person's two strongest digits. Also, culinary workers with larger hands may find it difficult to comfortably fit all four fingers under the knife handle and, thus, may need to choke up on the knife blade.
When properly choking up on a knife, the knuckle or metacarpophalangeal joint 28 of the index finger is positioned above the interface between the knife blade and knife handle. The proximal phalange of the index finger 30, which is between the metacarpophalangeal joint and proximal interphalangeal joint 32, extends over the top edge 34 of the knife blade so that the medial phalange 36 of the index finger presses against one side of the blade to counterbalance pressure applied by the thumb on the other side of the blade. As such, the proximal phalange of the index finger normally experiences significant pressure from the top edge of the knife blade. The pressure increases at the abrupt ninety-degree corners where the horizontal surface of the top edge meets the sides of the knife blade. As such, repeatedly choking up on a knife often causes a blister to form on the proximal phalange of the index finger, which eventually hardens into a large callous, often referred to as a knife callous or chef's callous.
Many people do not choke up, holding a large knife only by the knife handle 22 because they have not been taught how to choke up in order to achieve better control. Also the knife handle, which is often rounded and ergonomically shaped, serves as a visual cue that discourages many people from placing their thumb and index finger on the sides of the knife blade. Even when people are shown how to choke up, the uncomfortable feel of the smooth, hard surface of the knife blade and the pain from blisters that begin to form on the proximal phalange of the index finger discourage many people from continuing to choking up on a knife.
Prior devices to facilitate use of a knife involve platforms for resting a thumb or tip of the index finger on the top edge of a knife blade in order to force a knife downwards. However, pressing the top edge of a large knife blade with a thumb finger tip is undesirable in many situations, such as when precise control of cutting angle is required. In addition, it is often more efficient and easer to cut a work piece using a forward slicing motion rather than relying on a downward force. Thus, these prior art devices and methods fail to promote choking up on a knife in the proper manner.
Other prior devices to facilitate use of a knife involve protruding handles and knobs. These protruding handles and bulbous knobs do not allow the proximal phalange of the index finger to extend over the top edge of the blade so that the medial phalange 36 of the index finger, not just the finger tip, push against one side of the blade to counterbalance pressure applied by the thumb on the other side of the blade.
Thus, there is an unsatisfied need for an improved method and a device that teaches, aids and encourages persons to properly choke up on a knife in order to achieve better safety through increased control of the knife, while simultaneously relieving discomfort caused by blisters and calluses associated with choking up. Such a method and device would increase efficiency and safety in commercial and non-commercial kitchens alike. The present invention satisfies this and other needs.
One aspect of the present invention is a blade grip to be installed onto the top edge of a knife blade, the top edge extending distally from a knife handle in a longitudinal direction. The blade grip comprises an elongate top member having a top inner surface adapted to rest on the top edge of the knife blade and a top outer surface that is rounded in a transverse direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction and is substantially coincident with the top edge of the knife blade; and two opposing side members extending longitudinally and connected to the top member, the side members each having a side inner surface adapted to grip one side of the knife blade and a side outer surface extending downward from the top outer surface of the top member, the side inner surface including a slip resistant inner surface and the side outer surface including a slip resistant outer surface, the slip resistant inner and outer surfaces having a higher coefficient of friction than other surfaces on the side members.
One embodiment of the present invention include at least one protrusion on the slip resistant outer surface. Another embodiment includes at least one groove on the slip resistant inner surface.
In other aspects of the present invention, the top member and the side members form a transverse cross-sectional shape substantially having an inverted “u” shape with an opening adjacent bottom portions of the side members. The cross-sectional shape preferably has a substantially uniform wall thickness. The bottom portions are adapted to exert a compressive force on the knife blade in other aspects.
In other embodiments of the present invention, the side outer surface of at least one side member includes a chamfer extending longitudinally along a substantial length of the side member, and the side inner surface of the at least one side member includes a flared corner area.
Another aspect of the present invention includes at least of the side members with a length dimension in the longitudinal direction and a height dimension perpendicular to the length dimension, and the ratio of the length dimension to the height dimension being at least about 3 to 1.
In yet another aspect, at least one of the side members has a length dimension in the longitudinal direction and the top member has a width dimension perpendicular to the length direction, the ratio of the length dimension to the width dimension being at least about 8 to 1.
In another aspect of the present invention, the top member has a substantially uniform wall thickness. The side members have substantially uniform wall thicknesses in other aspects.
Other aspects of the present invention have the top member with a width dimension perpendicular to the longitudinal direction, the width dimension being substantially uniform along the longitudinal direction. The side outer surfaces are substantially parallel to each other in other aspects.
In other aspects, the top member has a top length dimension and the side members have side length dimensions, the top length and side length dimensions being parallel to the longitudinal direction and sufficient to allow the proximal phalange of an index finger to wrap over the top outer surface and allow the medial phalange of the index finger to press against the side outer surface extending downward from the top outer surface of the top member. In yet other aspects, the top member has a width dimension perpendicular to the longitudinal direction, the width dimension being limited so as to allow the proximal phalange of an index finger to remain substantially parallel to the longitudinal direction while wrapping over the top outer surface of the top member.
Another aspect of the present invention is a method of controlling a knife by attaching a blade grip onto the knife blade, the blade grip including a top member and two opposed side members having side outer surfaces and side inner surfaces defining a longitudinal slot, including pushing the blade grip onto the top edge of the knife blade such that the top edge of the knife blade enters the longitudinal slot and rests upon the top member of the blade grip; and grasping the knife with one hand, including wrapping the proximal phalange of the index finger over a rounded top surface of the top member, squeezing the side outer surfaces of the side members between the medial phalange of the index finger and the distal phalange of the thumb, the side outer surfaces extending downward from the curved top surface of the top member.
In further aspects, attaching the blade grip on to the knife blade includes positioning the blade grip along the top edge of the knife blade such that it blade grip is adjacent the knife handle.
In another aspect, attaching the blade grip on to the knife blade includes positioning slip resistant portions on the side outer surfaces where the medial phalange of the index finger and the distal phalange of the thumb squeeze the side members of the blade grip.
The features and advantages of the invention will be more readily understood from the following detailed description which should be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
Referring now in more detail to the exemplary drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate corresponding or like elements among the several views, there is shown in
To attach the blade grip 40 to the knife blade 20, the blade grip is pushed onto the top edge 34 of the knife such that the top edge enters a longitudinal slot between the side members 48 until the top inner surface 44 rests on the top edge. The knife is illustrated in broken lines to better show both sides of the blade grip. The top edge of the knife extends distally from the knife handle 22 in a longitudinal direction indicated as arrow 58. Preferably, the blade grip is positioned along the top edge such that the blade grip is adjacent to the knife handle in order to facilitate choking up. The side inner surface 52 of each of the side members 48 are adapted to grip one side of the knife blade to prevent the blade grip from shifting longitudinally or upward while cutting a work piece.
Preferably, the overall shape of the blade grip 40 conforms closely to the knife blade 20 so to avoid interfering with the balance and function of the knife and with a user's view of a work piece. The top member 42 is preferably thin such that its top outer surface 46 is almost flush or substantially coincident with the top edge of the knife blade. The top member and side members 48 are also preferably thin walled with substantially uniform wall thickness, as described in greater detail below.
The rounded shape of the top member does not provide a flat or wide platform in order to discourage placement of a thumb or tip of the index finger on top of the knife blade 20, which is undesirable for controlling cutting angle. With a thumb or finger tip on the top of the knife blade, there is also an undesirable tendency for users to cut a work piece with a mostly downward motion. A more efficient cutting method involves moving the knife blade in a longitudinally slicing motion across the work piece, which is encouraged and facilitated by the blade grip 40 as described below.
With continued reference to
Referring now to
The overall physical proportion of the blade grip 40 is also shown by a width dimension 72 (
Referring now to
As shown by the cut walls indicated by cross-hatch lines in
The benefits of greater control, efficiency, and safety may be achieved by using the blade grip with knives other than the standard chefs knife. Smaller and larger blade grips are contemplated to accommodate knives that are smaller and larger than the standard eight-inch and ten-inch chefs knife and to accommodate a wide variety of hands. Accordingly, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments described and illustrated.
While several particular forms of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will also be apparent that various modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention. It is also contemplated that various combinations or subcombinations of the specific features and aspects of the disclosed embodiments can be combined with or substituted for one another in order to form varying modes of the invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited, except as by the appended claims.
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|US9592616||Mar 14, 2013||Mar 14, 2017||Robert Clark||Knife that relieves pressure on metacarpophalangeal joint of index finger|
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|U.S. Classification||30/295, 30/296.1|
|Cooperative Classification||B26B3/00, B26B29/02|
|May 28, 2012||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Oct 12, 2012||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
|Oct 12, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|May 27, 2016||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Oct 14, 2016||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Dec 6, 2016||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20161014